Redesigning the Drexel Law Docket
The Docket is the Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law's digital newsletter which principally goes to Drexel Law Alumni. My task was to integrate the previously hand-coded and dated version of the site into our Sitecore content management system and make it responsive. This post is a quick overview of that process.
The first iteration of the Docket was a dated and totally hand-coded ASP.net framework that took over a week to update with each new issue. Therefore, the redesign focused on enhancing the issue layout, simplifying the articles to increase readability and improving publication efficiencies.
- Quick turnaround - the Docket is issued quarterly so we had just a couple of months to come up with the solution
- Maintain Issue individuality - each issue would have to be it's own site so to speak
- Style articles to improve readability
- Facilitate reader navigation from article to article
- Increase ease and efficiency of publication.
The visual design of the site was really the easy part. We knew that we wanted a simple layout, listing the articles and giving quick, easy access to them. Determining how each "Issue" would be maintained and published, on the other hand, was more difficult and involved reprogramming the way our Sitecore content management system handled press release-like items. Therefore, we brainstormed and I experimented with Adobe Muse to prototype some layouts, interactions and test usability:
The prototypes also helped translate technical restrictions to senior stakeholders and also desired outcomes to to the developers who would be programming the backend to work with Sitecore.
Most of the credit for the final solution goes to some wonderful development work by the school's technical staff, web developers and graphic designers and the excellent responsive template we modified to fit our aesthetic needs.
This site was pretty straightforward with clear goals in mind. I have to hand it to our Sitecore programmers who did a great job converting a site that used to be a nightmare to update into something that takes literally seconds to change with the push of a button.